Were you aware that summer is the most likely time for your air conditioner to call it quits, or at least start developing problems? It makes a lot of sense, honestly. The system is getting much heavier use than it would in the spring or fall. And all appliances accumulate wear and tear over the years.
Fortunately, you can usually avoid nasty surprise repair needs or sudden cooling system breakdowns, with routine professional tune-ups. These maintenance sessions give our professionals the chance to discover any signs of malfunction or pending repair needs. It also gives us the opportunity to clean out the system and ensure it is operating as it should.
Even if you are diligent about maintenance, though, it’s always smart to be aware of the sounds you should not hear coming from your air conditioning system. The following sounds each indicate that something is amiss within your cooling system.
Sound #1: Grinding
Is your air conditioner making a loud grinding noise as it operates? This can be due to problem with the air handler. The motor of this air handler is comprised of oiled bearings to keep friction as low as possible during operation. Over time, these bearings wear down, and this causes excessive friction on the air handler motor.
Once this friction gets severe enough, the motor begins to make grinding noises. If you do, in fact, hear this sound, then you should call for professional repairs right away. The bearings will need to be replaced before the air handler motor overheats and burns out.
Sound #2: Hissing
Don’t worry, this sound probably doesn’t indicate you have a snake inside your air conditioner.
When we say hissing, we’re referring to a noise that sounds like air being let out of a tire. The culprit of this sound is likely air bubbles in your system’s refrigerant line, which indicates a refrigerant leak. The lower the levels of refrigerant—called refrigerant charge—then the lower the cooling output of your air conditioner will drop.
Eventually, when the refrigerant charge gets too low, the air conditioner is forced to shut down. Be sure to call for repairs as soon as you hear this sound, or if you notice fluid dripping form any part of the AC system—this is never a good sign, no matter what the cause is.
Sound #3: Short-Cycling
If you’ve been following our blog, then you’ve likely seen us mention short-cycling before. This is the process where an air conditioner, or furnace, shut off and on in rapid succession rather than in longer, regular intervals throughout the day. The problem with this is that it wears down on your system, and the desired temperature on your thermostat is never actually met.
There are a number of potential reasons this might occur. These reasons range from poor installation in the first place, to clogged air filters blocking your airflow. There could be a more serious problem going on deeper in the system. Therefore, the best thing you can do is give our team a call to inspect.